August 4, 2013

Faith of Our Fathers

Passage: Joshua 24:31
Service Type:

Bible Text: Joshua 24:31 | Preacher: Mickey Chandler | FAITH OF OUR FATHERS


When you look at history, you see accounts given of “great men”
These stories are mostly mythological

For example, so far as we know, George Washington never actually chopped down a cherry tree
Likewise, there is also no evidence that Abraham Lincoln wrote the answers to his homework on the back of a shovel using coal because he had no pencil or paper
When you see ancient histories written of kings,

you see how strong and powerful they are,
but never how they struggled to hold it together or lost battles

It’s all very intimidating

The Godly faithful



Bold in beginning his sojourn
Full of faith

Sin: Liar (Gen. 12:12-13; Gen. 20:2-3)



Godly lawgiver
Stood up to Pharaoh
First leader of Israel
Interceded for the people


Killed another man (Ex. 2:11-12)
No desire to do God’s work (Ex. 3)
Faithless (Ex. 20:10-12)



Brave (Goliath)
Honorable (Did not kill Saul: 1 Sam. 24:6; 26:9-11; 2 Sam 1)
“A man after my own heart” (Acts 13:22)


Adulterer and murderer (2 Sam. 11)
Prideful (1 Chron. 1:21)



Active in the defense of the Lord
Makes him easy to identify with


Denied Christ (Matt. 26; Mark 14; Luke 22; John 18)
Hypocritical (Gal. 2:11-13)



Willing to be imprisoned and die for his belief

Sins: Persecutor (Acts 9:1-2; 1 Timothy 1:15)

Why is it important to point this out

These were great men

We look up to them all
We love to hear their triumphant stories
Like the “Great Men of History” it can be very intimidating

But they were also sinners who committed great sin

Persecutors of the people of God

We must understand why God included those stories

These men were sinful and had struggles and faults
We also are sinful and have faults
God was willing to save them and is likewise willing to save us

The place of storytelling in holding onto our kids

God had a plan

Teach the law (Deut. 6:6-9, 20; 11:18-21)
This included the telling of stories

Passover (Ex. 12:26-27)
The stones at Gilgal (Josh. 4)
Jesus taught almost exclusively in stories (Matt. 13:34)

We need to tell still more stories

We need to tell the stories of the Bible – God intended it so
But, sometimes we wonder why our children fall away so readily at the first sign of struggle

The story of Israel after Joshua (Josh. 24:31)

This is a cryptic line that is not explained until Judges 2:7-10
“This text is a witness to the apparent failure of the community to keep alive its memory of Yahweh’s gracious saving acts. The priests had failed in their instructional duties (Lev 10:11); and the elaborate system of festivals, memorials, and other customs, designed to pass on the rich spiritual tradition (Deut 6:20) had either lapsed or been reduced to formality. If the Shemaʿ (Deut 6:4) was being recited at all, the following injunctions to the community (6:5–6) to instruct the children in the fundamentals of covenant faith were obviously regarded more in the breach than in the observance. When people lose sight of God’s grace, they lose sight of God and the sense of any obligation to him. All that follows in the book is a consequence of Israel’s loss of memory.”[1]

We bear within ourselves the marks of God’s grace

There have been times when we have struggled with our faiths
Do our children know about those times?

Do they know how we overcame?
Do they even know about the times when, like the great men of old, we stumbled and fell?
Do they know of our struggles to regain the right path afterward?

I fear that by not relating these stories

Our children place us on those same pedestals
And think that is a normal thing
They more easily succumb to temptation and fall away believing that their struggle is what “isn’t normal”

They end up with “the faith of our fathers”

An unreal faith that is based only on what someone else says should be and upon a superficial exam of that life
“This is what dad believes and he’s never wrong, and his faith has ALWAYS been so strong…”


Paul made use of the example of Timothy’s mother and grandmother (2 Tim. 1:5)
Peter talks of the example of the believing wife upon her unbelieving husband (1 Pet. 3:1)
These stories of our own lives are not unimportant

In convincing the lost to come to Christ
In helping the weak to remain

Do you need to start down that road tonight by putting on the Lord in baptism?
Do you need to return back down the right path so that the stories that you have to tell might have a happy ending?

[1] Block, D. I. (1999). Judges, Ruth. The New American Commentary (Vol. 6, pp. 122–123). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

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